Astros split the doubleheader with Chicago
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: August 13th doubleheader recap
Game 1 Recap
After a disappointing loss on Sunday to the Orioles and a rainout the day before, the Astros were ready to get back in the win column in game one of the doubleheader on Tuesday. Here is a recap of the afternoon game:
Final Score: Astros 6, White Sox 2.
Record: 78-41, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (12-4, 3.08 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Dylan Cease (2-5, 5.54 ERA).
1) Springer starts things with a bang
You think George Springer was ready for the 1st pitch? 😱 #Crushedpic.twitter.com/w74XO2uxyb
— MLB (@MLB) August 13, 2019
George Springer helped the Astros quickly get the taste of Sunday's loss out of their mouths on the first pitch of the game. He drilled a ball to left field, a 467-foot leadoff home run to put Houston up 1-0 immediately. After the defense saved a run in the bottom of the second, Jose Altuve doubled Houston's lead with a leadoff solo home run to start the third, making it a 2-0 game.
Those would be the only runs Houston would score until the sixth inning. In the top of the sixth, Yordan Alvarez worked a two-out walk, moved to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel, then scored on a passed ball, which at the time broke a tie to put Houston back ahead 3-2.
2) Quality start for Greinke
Zack Greinke was looking to make it back-to-back wins with his new team in the first of the two games on Tuesday. After a quick first inning, he allowed a couple of singles to put runners on base for his first test of the day. He would pass the test, thanks to a two-out strikeout and great throw out at home by George Springer connecting with Robinson Chirinos on a single that instead of scoring a run ended the inning.
The fourth inning was not the same story. After a quick third, Greinke allowed the leadoff runner aboard in the bottom of the fourth on an infield single, which would end up coming around to score on a one-out double to trim the lead to 2-1. He created trouble for himself in the bottom of the fifth, hitting the first batter of the inning who would move along to third on a couple of groundouts then score to tie the game on an RBI-double with two outs in the inning.
After Houston regained the lead in the top half, Greinke came out for his final inning in the bottom of the sixth and retired Chicago 1-2-3 to end his day in position for the win. His final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.
3) Houston pulls away late to take game one
Houston loaded the bases in the top of the seventh, getting three walks before scoring on another passed ball to extend their lead to two runs at 4-2. Will Harris took over for Greinke on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and was able to retire the White Sox in order with two strikeouts to send the game to the eighth.
The Astros added another insurance run in the top of the eighth, getting a leadoff double by Yuli Gurriel who moved to third on a flyout then scored on an RBI-single by Robinson Chirinos. They would load the bases later in the inning but stranded all three runners to keep the game at 5-2.
Ryan Pressly was the next reliever out of the bullpen for Houston and recorded a quick inning to keep the three-run lead intact. The offense added one last insurance run in the top of the ninth, getting a couple of walks before another RBI-single by Robinson Chirinos to extend the lead to 6-2.
Collin McHugh was tasked to keep the four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. He did so, holding the White Sox scoreless to wrap up the win in game one.
Game 2 Recap
After taking the first game in the afternoon, Houston was looking for the doubleheader sweep by taking the evening game. Here is how the second game shook out:
Final Score: White Sox 4, Astros 1.
Record: 78-42, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Ivan Nova (8-9, 4.51 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Chris Devenski (2-1, 4.33 ERA).
1) Cole misses his start, Devenski fills in
In a late turn of events, Gerrit Cole would not be able to start the night game of the doubleheader due to hamstring discomfort, and Houston instead had Chris Devenski warm up quickly to pitch in the bottom of the first inning. He was able to put together a scoreless first inning but would struggle in the second, allowing three runs on four hits along with an error, putting Chicago ahead 3-0 early.
Geroge Springer was able to get one of those runs back in the top of the third, getting an RBI-single to score Aledmys Diaz who reached on an error earlier in the inning. Joe Biagini took over for Devenski in the bottom of the third and was able to get through that inning scoreless, but a two-out RBI-double in the bottom of the fourth put Chicago's lead back to three runs at 4-1.
2) Astros unable to crack Ivan Nova
Biagini would also throw the fifth, a scoreless inning before the Astros moved on to their next reliever, Hector Rondon. Rondon was able to provide two scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh; meanwhile, the Astros were being held in check by Ivan Nova of the White Sox.
Joe Smith pitched the bottom of the eighth and worked around a single and walk to keep the score as is, thanks to a little help on defense. Houston would come up empty in the top of the ninth, resulting in a doubleheader split. Ivan Nova would complete the game allowing just one run to the Astros.
Up Next: These two teams will wrap up the three-game series with an afternoon game on Wednesday at 1:10 PM Central. Wade Miley (11-4, 2.99 ERA) will be on the mound to try and build on his recent success for Houston while the White Sox will counter with Ross Detwiler (1-3, 5.35 ERA).
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.